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dc.contributor.advisor Lilly, Frank en_US
dc.contributor.author Gast, Bryan
dc.date.accessioned 2010-07-07T21:06:47Z
dc.date.available 2010-07-07T21:06:47Z
dc.date.issued 2010-07-07
dc.date.submitted 2009-12-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.9/244
dc.description Project (M.A., Education (Curriculum and Instruction)) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009. en_US
dc.description.abstract The classic European model of education sees students as containers waiting to be filled. The problem with this model is that it promotes a Eurocentric memorize and recall style of learning. As a result, students assume a small and inactive role in their own learning. Consequently, this method of depositing information in students does not fully utilize the exploratory nature of science. When students become involved with their learning as opposed to just reciting facts it promotes problem solving skills and increases self-actualization in learning (Bridges, 1992). Schools of today are far more ethnically diverse and with this diversity many of these cultures do not share the European cultural view of self independence. Despite this, most classrooms are still teacher-centered and individuality is preferred over communal effort. This project utilizes problem based learning combined with Afrocentric and critical pedagogy as counter to Eurocentric style of education where community and questioning is emphasized over the individual and the memorization of facts. This project uses meta-analysis of current literature surrounding problem based learning (PBL), Afrocentric pedagogy, and critical pedagogy in order to create a framework for middle school science teachers called Critical Problem Solving (CPS). Lesson ideas, sample unit outlines and lesson modification ideas in the appendix are designed to foster inquiry, community, critical thinking and reflection within the science classroom. The teacher guide also includes a framework calendar to help sequence the development of a successful CPS curriculum. Sources of Data Information was obtained through program coursework as well as research of the related literature. This project uses an analysis of three existing educational models and forms them into a cohesive idea. The first model used and analyzed was problem based learning. The second was critical pedagogy; and the third was Afrocentric pedagogy. These models all have parts that are unique and also have parts in common. These models have been formed into a framework that an educator can apply to their current classroom. A teacher’s guide can be found beginning in appendix A.   Conclusions Reached Science instruction in the lower grades often focuses on the facts and relies heavily on the student’s ability to memorize the information. The reliance on memorization may work for testing purposes but does not teach the student how to solve a problem which is what scientists in the real world do. Additionally, science instruction rarely accesses the student’s culture nor does it access the power of the classroom community. Critical Problem Solving is the authors attempt to help teachers move away from the traditional teacher-centered classroom and to promote the students ability to think about science from a more critical viewpoint. Problem based learning to an excellent vehicle to facilitate this process; however, it does not address the socio-cultural needs of the classroom. Afrocentric pedagogy with its dual emphasis on community and self-identity helps PBL address cultural needs of the classroom. Where as critical pedagogy helps the students to think critically about the overall scope of the information on an individual as well as a global level. Students often do not see the connection between the science classroom and the outside world and the current culture of high stakes testing further cements this blindness. In the end a classroom that is carefully led loses its ability to think for itself. Therefore Critical Problem Solving is intended to bring this connection of thinking, solving, and learning back and promote a culture of critical scientific thinking. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Education (Curriculum and Instruction) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Problem solving en_US
dc.subject Critical pedagogy en_US
dc.subject Afrocentric pedagogy en_US
dc.subject Critical thinking en_US
dc.title A science curriculum design using critical problem solving en_US
dc.type Project en_US


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